Illinois has more than 2 million fantasy sports participants and a number of fantasy sports industry employers operating in Chicagoland. There’s still much opportunity to be had in the fantasy sports space, at least for the companies who have managed to hang on while fantasy sports regulation has remained in a nearly two-year limbo in Springfield.
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It’s time to bring home a win for Illinois’ fantasy sports players and businesses. As advocates for the region’s business community, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce strongly supports current legislation which provides a framework to allow this industry to operate in Illinois in a safe, regulated environment. If this legislation is passed, we would join eleven other states who have chosen to embrace this form of entertainment and reap the economic benefits and resulting tax revenue stream.
Fantasy sports taxation would improve our state’s Education Assistance Fund, but the skill-based games are a win for the larger economy too. The contests are driving more viewers to live sporting events on television, radio and streaming online — which will benefit a wide variety of businesses — and driving guests to neighborhood restaurants and bars for fantasy drafts and to watch games.
Particularly in cash-strapped times, such as these in our state, why leave a reasonable revenue source on the table? Quite simply, fantasy sports is an opportunity our state and local economy cannot afford to miss.
Theresa E. Mintle, president and CEO,
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
A better way to honor Memorial Day
I was befuddled Monday by the weird coloring of the White Sox uniforms until I realized the khaki hats and lettering were to honor Memorial Day. After years of perpetual war since 9/11, needlessly killing hundreds of thousands — including 6,900 U.S. servicemen and women — I see Memorial Day as mostly a commercial for the U.S. war party: pursuing perpetual war for power, glory and wealth.
How about if next Memorial Day every Major League team dons the Peace Symbol instead? Over on the South Side, we might even prevail on the mucks that run the Sox to change that dreadfully named stadium to Guaranteed Peace Park for the day. I don’t know if it would draw any more fans, but it would better honor the intended spirit of Memorial Day.
Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn
Americans have long complained about our deadlocked, do-nothing Congress. Well, Illinois is not being outdone because it has a deadlocked, do-nothing legislature.
Mary F. Warren, Wheaton
Health care reform? Go fish
I heard on the news that a record bass was recently caught in Texas by a couple who used a Chicken McNugget as a lure. I find this very reassuring, somehow, that as far as we’ve come in the modern world, we are still capable of outsmarting a fish with a little imagination and dumb luck. But at the same time, I can’t help thinking how fortunate it was for these ambitious anglers that they ate at McDonald’s for lunch and not Subway.
What else might we be overthinking these days: North Korea, health care, tax reform? Maybe some of our leaders should take a break and go fishing.
Bob Ory, Elgin